6 SAF servicemen charged in military court over death of NSF Dave Lee

6 SAF servicemen charged in military court over death of NSF Dave Lee

NSF Lee Han Xuan Dave wake (1)
A framed photo of NSF Dave Lee at his wake on May 2, 2018. (Photo: Howard Law) 

SINGAPORE: Six Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) servicemen were charged in military court on Thursday (Feb 20) over the death of Corporal First Class (CFC) Dave Lee.

CFC Lee died aged 19 in April 2018, after suffering heatstroke following an 8km fast march at Bedok Camp. 

READ: 19-year-old NSF dies after displaying 'signs of heat injury': MINDEF

The police had referred the six servicemen to the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) for investigation into potential breaches of military law surrounding the events in relation to his death, said MINDEF.

"On completion of investigations by the SAF’s Special Investigation Branch, the six servicemen were charged in military court (on Thursday)," said the ministry in response to media queries.

READ: Family, friends bid final farewell to national serviceman Dave Lee

The servicemen who were charged:

  • First Sergeant (1SG) Chia Zhi Xuan, 25, was the conducting officer who made "unauthorised deviations to the lesson plan for a training run the day before the fast march", said MINDEF. He faces one charge for disobedience of general orders under section 21 of the SAF Act.
  • Second Sergeant (2SG) Koh Ren Zhong, 26, was the safety officer for the fast march. He faces one charge for negligent act endangering life under section 41(b) of the SAF Act.
  • Third Sergeants (NS) [3SG(NS)] Chng Pheng Heng, 22; Jonas Ang Kai Jie, 24 and Yep Ren Jie, 22, were all section commanders who "meted out the unauthorised punishment the day before the fast march". They each face three charges -  two charges for disobedience of general orders under section 21 of the SAF Act and one charge for abuse of authority under section 29 of the SAF Act.
  • Corporal(NS) [CPL(NS)] Tan Jin Yang, 24, was the medic for the fast march. He faces two charges for negligent acts endangering life under section 41(b) of the SAF Act.

READ: SAF captain accused of causing NSF Dave Lee’s death granted discharge not amounting to acquittal

Earlier this month, an SAF captain who was charged in 2018 with causing the NSF's death by a rash act was granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal. 

Captain Tan Baoshu, 31, was the supervising officer of the fast march and was accused of failing to evacuate CFC Lee in a timely manner. He was also accused of not allowing the necessary treatment to be administered to CFC Lee, causing the latter's death from heat stroke.

An AGC spokesperson said the court had granted CPT Tan a discharge not amounting to an acquittal, meaning that the prosecution will stop pursuing the charge, but did not mean that the accused was acquitted.

An AGC spokesperson told CNA that CPT Tan was "diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer". CPT Tan died on Feb 13. 

Source: CNA/nc(rw)

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